Friday, September 29

Braving the Inferno?

In a recent post, Colleen over at In the Garden Online talked about love for lawns--and her lack thereof. I always enjoy reading her gardening thoughts, but one partial sentence in this post really snagged my attention: "...and I don't know if I am brave enough to try to garden in my two hell-strips."

As I read that line, my stomach dropped at the same time my brain said, "Oh wow... just like me!" It was one of those moments when you awaken to the knowledge that you have a certain, um, problem that you have been in denial about for a long time.

See, on a certain level I come across as being very brave and capable. Maybe a little headstrong. And if you ask certain people--like my boyfriend and my Mom--you might even get the mistaken idea that I can be a little stubborn sometimes. ;)

I'm an interesting enough person, I think. I've been brave enough to do things like paint my stairwell and upstairs hallway monk's robe orange. So you can imagine that the realization that I have not even made plans for planting my hellstrip simply because I'm chicken did not really sit well with me.

I want to garden the... well, hell... out of my hellstrip, I really do. I want a hellstrip with interest, like the ones that Susan showed over on Garden Rant. I want one as bursting with color, as tapestry-like, and as xeric as the Inferno Garden over at High Country Gardens.

I am absolutely fine with people wondering why the crazy lady down the street would replace her "treelawn" grass with plants that people might walk on. And frankly, nobody would walk on mine much anyway because the city in its infinite wisdom planted a too-large tree in the middle of my hellstrip. It prevents people from opening their passenger doors when they park between my driveway and my neighbor's.

Other people in my suburb have planted their hellstrips with everything from scads of annuals to herb gardens. My suburb is old enough, and the yards small enough, that nobody has ever considered instituting any kind of constricting neighborhood covenant here... so planting my hellstrip would be neither illegal nor unprecedented.

Did I mention yet that I'm really a brave person? But apparently not quite brave enough to plant my hellstrip just yet. Can somebody please explain to me why that is? I'll pull up a couch, lay down and listen if you have the time...


Unknown said...

Oh, and since this is a mostly gardening blog... if anyone was curious the lavender in the picture is 'Goodwin Creek Grey' that was being overwintered inside last year.

Karen said...

Love your hallway. A yellower orange than mine -- I like it better. (I also love your column of pictures with the bottom one below eye level. I did the same thing and worried about hanging pictures so low, but it works.)

A few people in our subdivision have planted and/or mulched the boulevard. I don't think we will ever do anything to ours. It's currently a "natural" garden (a.k.a. weeds), which is actually quite pretty in its own way.

Unknown said...

Karen, I LOVE your orange wall! Is that some of your photography above the bench? Gorgeous. I see that we kind of had the same thought about using black, white and neutrals with the orange.

The pictures on mine are some of my boyfriend's work from college--they're hung a little irregularly because they weren't meant to be a group and the frames aren't even the same size. I worried about that a bit, but I think it wasn't too much of a factor because you see them coming up the stairs so you're a little off-kilter anyway. :)

Silvia Hoefnagels . Salix Tree said...

I've been pondering what to do with my strip of curbside grass. It's only one foot wide, so can only have little plants on it, like violas, which just happen to be my favorite plants! I might just be brave enough to redo that this spring! Brave enough.. why is that? It would be the first in our neighborhood, wierd. But I am a little odd, so it fits.

Karen said...

My photography? I wish! No, it's a decorating store find. There's a matching one on the other wall that has an orangeish tint to it. Well, I guess I will have to take a photo of it or something, because it's too difficult to describe.

Alice said...

I seriously love your orange hallway and I know my daughter (ShellyC) will when I tell her about it.

We don't have a nature strip (sounds like a nudist exercise!), which I presume is what you refer to as a 'hellstrip' between footpath (pavement) and the road. Our footpath has been laid right next to the road so we took our garden right up the the footpath. Mostly it's no problem although I occasionally have some idiot pull up plants or trample on them, and years ago someone drove their car down the full length of the garden.

Go on - be brave and plant something stunning.

By the way - I found your blog via Stuart's 'Gardening Tips'n'Ideas'. Very interesting gardening story, and I hope you continue to enjoy it for many decades.

growingagardenindavis said...

Now that you have named your fear you can face it and you have all winter to develop a plan! I love your orange walls too...I painted some of my family room walls orange last May and some people thought I'd gone over the edge. That's because I'm not an orange-in-the-garden type. But I love it on the walls! If I knew how to do the link thing I would have included a photo...

lisa said...

I think you are hesitant to plant the strip beacuse of the high visibility, as well as the upset you may feel if someone damages it after all your hard work. I have a similar situation out by my road/driveway, and I decided that this is where all my "extra" plants will go when I make divisions every spring. This way, I'm not losing any super important specimens I have a major emotional attachment to...and if they get ruined somehow, I've got plenty more. It's also a hot and sunny, "thrive or die" spot where I put anything I'm just sick of pampering. Amazingly, many plants rise to the challenge. (Or I'm at least done with them! :)

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